by Annette Simmons Letters of Credit
by Walter Tracy Foundations of Language
by Ray Jackendoff Labyrinths of Reason
by William Poundstone I am a Strange Loop
by Douglas Hofstadter Understanding cultures Through Their Key Words
by Anna Wierzbicka.
2) Four Edward Tufte's books.
3) Two Russian books:
Даниэль Штайн, переводчик. Людмилы Улицкой
("Daniel Stein, Translator" By Lyudmila Ulitskaya)
I didn't find much in English about the book, except for this Britannica's comment:
"The year's most controversial novel, and also a Booker nominee, came from Lyudmila Ulitskaya. Daniel Shtayn, perevodchik (2006; �Daniel Stein, Translator�) told the story of a Jewish Holocaust survivor who is rescued by monks and then converts to Roman Catholicism; he becomes a priest and attempts to reconcile Judaism and Christianity on the level both of ritual and dogma...." http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-1386234/Daniel-Shtayn-perevodchik
What is controversial about the novel, I don't know. The book's main character is a real person, Oswald Rufeisen
The second book is Похороните меня за плинтусом Павла Санаева ("Bury me behind the floor molding" by Pavel Sanayev). It's about author's childhood, more precisely his relationship with his not-completely-sane Grandmother. What's remarkable about this book, is that I instantly found something to relate to in the story about an abusive granma, and in an interview the author said that many Russians told the same to him. Apparetnly he found a new kind of what Jung would call an archetype of a Russian woman. I gave to book to my friend, he started to read and immediately started to laugh. I asked what he found so funny. He said "she's like my own granma. She used to say, "you eat so much!
It's easier for us to kill you, than to feed you." Well, yeah. Makes me wonder if the mystery of mysterious Russian soul is finally solved.
Apparently the books is translated into German under the name of "Begrabt mich hinter der Fu�leiste". There is something that looks like reviews to me here